Chapter 6.2

Chapter 6.2

They were piling the books they wanted on a table near the shelves. Alice had chosen a book about plants, another on concocting different potions using plants and yet another on basic medicinal properties of different plants.

Skilled medics who could use magic dwelled mostly in large cities and their services were expensive. Only aristocrats and royals could afford them. The commoners usually went to healers who prescribed plant-based medicines. These medicines were distributed throughout the country but development of such drugs was done only in the Institute of Pharmacology. Most books on pharmaceutical materials were very complicated, thanks to the academic jargons. Alice was glad she could read. She could research and learn them slowly in her own time. 

“Since when have you been interested in plants?” asked Alex with an eyebrow raised as he watched her put the books down on the table. He sent the servant with the money to pay the cashier at the counter.

“Since when have you been interested in what I am interested in?” she retorted. “I thought it wouldn’t hurt to know things, you know. Simple medicines that can help the ailing.”

Her brother narrowed his eyes. She could almost feel the nuts and bolts turning in his mind, trying to sniff out her motives. Honestly, Alex was much too serious for a nineteen-year-old, he would much sooner die of stroke in his forties if he kept stressing over details. Alice rolled her eyes.

He doesn’t drink or smoke. But even having avoided those, if he keeps this attitude up, he might die early. There was that voice again, in her mind. It was obviously a voice she had heard many a times, but she didn’t know where, or for that matter, who. She couldn’t remember. Alice frowned. They gathered their books and prepared to leave the store.

“Your past life, do you remember all of it? Or do you only remember that you killed people?” asked Alex in a low voice.

“What do you think?” said Alice, as she gathered her books and walked to him. He was holding the door open for her, and frowning slightly.

“If you only ‘thinking’ that you have killed someone before, I don’t think you would have been able to do it in the same way you did to Eastbay,” he said.

She smiled at him and walked out the door, refusing to answer. Alex seemed more willing to believe in her than Aaron. He almost hadn’t accepted her story about her previous life. He didn’t seem to want to talk about it for a long while. It had made him uncomfortable. So it was fine by her to act like the same Alice that he knew before everything.

However, Alex snooped around, wanting to know more. She wondered if he knew the kind of person she had been, would he still consider her his little sister? Or would his behaviour change towards her?

“You know what I think?” he said, as they exited the store. He offered her his hand. She placed hers on his forearm and walked side by side. “Movement of the body is not something that comes naturally while fighting, you know. Takes practice to hone your reflex. If a soldier stopped using his weapon for a long time, he can’t fight properly when he takes up the weapon at once.”

“Well, what I did wasn’t a miracle,” she said, “I just recalled the places on the body where it could prove to be most fatal. The memories, they were in bits and pieces, I just put them together. There are times when the memories from the past mixes with my memories in the present. It becomes confusing.” She hesitated. “I told you and Aaron because I hoped you two would help me not act strangely in front of our parents. I don’t want them to know. They will be worried. They might not even believe me and think that I am off my rockers.”

Alex nodded. The servant holding their bags and the bodyguards didn’t hear their conversation because they spoke in whispers, but also because the market was booming with noise. Carriages were waiting in lines, passengers were entering and exiting. People were laughing. Vendors yelled to attract their customer’s attention to their shops. Some shops hired ‘fishers’ to reel in customers. These people usually held large signboards with free samples, shouting at the top of their lungs, to encourage people to try the samples and enter the shop for more. It was a busy day for everybody.

As boisterous as the place seemed, it was also dangerous. People of the capital had no love or qualms when it came to aristocrats. A simple bumping on the street could give rise to scuffles. The capital belonged to free citizens and they indeed lived very freely.

“Are you sure you didn’t just accidentally kill someone in the name of self-defense?” asked Alex in a very serious tone.



not work with dark mode